Deli counters are a favorite when it comes to sandwich meats, salads, pre-cooked foods, but they can also be a risky place for listeria.Deli counters are a favorite when it comes to sandwich meats, salads, pre-cooked foods, but they can also be a risky place for listeria. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, listeria causes 1,600 illnesses, 1,500 hospitalizations and 260 deaths each year. So, with this in mind, The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service and the Food and Drug Administration have released new recommendations for retail delis in an effort to reduce listeria contamination. The recommendations are based on a study that observed deli employees' work routines; concentrations of listeria on incoming products and in the deli environment; simulations of the bacteria's transmission, such as from slicer to food; and dose-response modeling. The findings are applicable to small, independent retailers and deli departments in large supermarkets, FSIS said. The report suggests that all refrigerated, ready-to-eat foods be stored at a temperature of 41 degrees Fahrenheit or lower. Furthermore, all deli products that support listeria growth should be reformulated to contain growth inhibitor, which could prevent up to 96 of 100 cases of listeria. Finally, the study highlighted that more needs to be done to prevent cross-contamination within the deli environment. So there needs to be a focus on proper cleaning of equipment and personal hygiene.